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Eur J Dent Educ. 2006 Nov;10(4):236-41.

Reasons for choosing dentistry as a career: a study involving male and female first-year students in Peru.

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Departamento de Odontología Social, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.


The aim of this study was to compare the reported reasons to choose dentistry as a career between Peruvian male and female first-year students. A self-completion questionnaire was administered to 75 first-year students registered at the Faculty of Dentistry of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. The questionnaire comprised 16 items grouped into four categories (economic, professional, vocational and personal background). Students rated the importance of each item for selecting dentistry as a career on a Likert-type scale of five points. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare groups and item scores by gender. A male/female proportion of 1/2.1 was found in the pool of participating students. When group and item scores were compared between genders, statistically significant differences were only found for vocational and personal background reasons (P < 0.05); however, the three reasons that obtained higher scores for each gender were found to be different. It is recommended that further studies be conducted to increase the sample, by extending the study and evaluating not only reasons for choosing dentistry, but also other factors that may influence the decision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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